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Lovely Elite for sale

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http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C346699#

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Just appeared for sale, this lovely and very original looking Elite. It's for sale from a prolific wedge enthusiast who has bought and sold a fair few recently, and may be a member on here. Though the vendor has the inexplicable habit of obscuring the real number plate with a personal one, this is a well known car, having been pictured at many events including Le Mans Classic where it looked in remarkable condition (and obviously useable). It benefits from a cloth interior which is much more robust than the usual frail leather, and the colour is born-again cool. If anyone on here is after an Elite you couldn't do much better.

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I know the vendor, a real gent. He desribes things 100 per cent.

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If I was in the market for one, I would have gone for this. Great colour, and I do love the wheels.

Surprised it has not sold yet.

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Me too, spoke to the vendor and he is a very nice chap. He had someone coming to view last week who must not have bought it; can't see what they could find fault with from the pictures, when I saw it in 2008 it definitely looked like one of the best Elites left on earth

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The ad should be printed and added to the history, I enjoyed reading it that much!

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He had someone coming to view last week who must not have bought it; can't see what they could find fault with from the pictures, when I saw it in 2008 it definitely looked like one of the best Elites left on earth

 

That was me.  Spent nearly 3 hours there on Saturday afternoon, looking at the car (and his others...) and picking his brains about all things Lotus.  Very nice bloke.

 

I can't fault it, it's lovely.  My missus wanted to buy it on the spot but I've been hit by a rare dose of common sense for once. 

 

We've got nowhere to put it.  We've got 3 cars and 12 motorbikes already and going to see the Elite has made me realise I need to rationalise a bit before I can buy anything else.  I've put some bikes up for sale this week...

 

I know I'll kick myself later for missing it. :(

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It's a rare beast, a good Elite. Once you have picked which cars/bikes to sell kick them out of the garage and get this one in quick!

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The ad should be printed and added to the history, I enjoyed reading it that much!

 

Time for copy and paste, then.

 

Well, this is the very car where my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with Lotus began and where I became hooked on the later, but nevertheless classic, Lotuses.

Everybody knows how Colin Chapman’s early lightweight road cars were developed from his incredibly successful motor racing career and his legendary 50’s and 60’s sports cars are deservedly becoming more sought after, collectable and accordingly more expensive.

They are undoubtedly great fun and wonderfully engaging to drive, demonstrating a masterclass of world beating chassis and suspension dynamics. Even with their modest power outputs compared to sports cars of today, there are not many older cars that can keep up with a Lotus when the tarmac gets twisty.

Mechanically uncomplicated too, they allow an enthusiastic owner with a reasonable degree of knowledge, access to a legendary race bred product that can generally be managed and maintained in a simple home workshop.

All that’s well and good if you've got north of £20K or £30K to play with perhaps, but if like me, you only have MGB or even Morris Minor money, the dream of classic, race inspired Lotus ownership and all that entails is readily within your grasp by opting for the cars borne out of Lotus’s move upmarket in the Seventies, away from the slightly negative image of kit cars. Not only can you buy and run one relatively inexpensively but the beauty is it won’t RUST away like almost all older cars.

Something which is usually the bane of any classic car ownership is suddenly no longer a problem and with the later and rarest S2 cars like mine here, even the chassis is galvanized. With diligent routine maintenance coupled with excellent spares availability and an active club scene, this thing could almost last forever!

With the recent acquisition of an almost perfect early Lotus Esprit, the time has come to rationalise my bonkers collection of classic cars and to give someone else the opportunity to own one of these fabulous and much underrated sports GT cars.

My rare, genuinely unmolested and period perfect example of the Lotus Elite S2 2.2 is reluctantly being offered for sale. Being one of only 132 cars ever made, exclusivity is guaranteed but this is about more than that. It’s about breaking with convention, going out on a limb and being proud to be different and truly individual.

The strikingly assertive, some would say controversial, Oliver Winterbottom styling has not been to everyone’s taste historically, and yet today it probably looks better than it ever has. The current fascination with retro styling and our delight with nostalgia have made this four seat semi exotic GT all the more appealing.

In this later Series 2 guise, the sharp outline was softened slightly with a full wrap around deeper front spoiler and extended side sills, and somehow it looks altogether more cohesive and modern compared to the pure avant-garde styling of the original Winterbottom Elite. It also boasts the much nicer five speed Getrag gearbox which is an absolute delight to use and is driven by the far more flexible and sought after 2.2 version of Lotus’s acclaimed 16 valve, twin cam engine, breathing as ever through a pair of glorious twin choke Dellorto carburettors and a full, twin pipe stainless steel exhaust system.

Having covered a modest 75000 miles in the past thirty two years supported by all but one of its consecutive MOT’s, the previous owner cherished this superb original car for the best part of twenty four years with records of its servicing and maintenance over this time being kept in a thick history folder.

It is without doubt a product of its time and could not be presented in a more delightful period colour and trim combination. If you don’t like brown, don’t read any further!

As you can see it’s finished in the most glorious dark metallic brown which picks up a slightly lighter bronze hue in bright sunlight. This is complemented by a classic twin stripe gold coachline running around the entire waistline of the car above the protective moulding, typical of Lotus at the time. The paintwork is generally very good although it has been refinished in some areas in the past. The low, vulnerable nose for instance is not peppered with stonechips but the finish here is not to the same standard as the rest of the car. If I were to keep it, this area would benefit from being repainted and the ELITE letters reinstated – not a big job, just a nice detail I think.

Open the wide, thick doors fitted with red safety lights in their trailing edge and you step back in time to a different style of luxury – one that is oh-so Seventies. From the original and rare deep thick carpet in brown shag pile to the almost overwhelming use of a hard wearing and original woven textile finish fabric in a dark chocolate brown, highlighted in detail with further woven areas in a contrasting oatmeal coloured cloth – the dash, the centre console, the doors, seats and side trims are all covered in this stunning combination right down to the centre of the bitter chocolate coloured, leather rimmed steering wheel. Unusually, an absolutely perfect luxury headlining in a soft caramel colour helps to add a more airy feel to the plush cabin. It’s truly amazing and I love it – it really feels a special place to be and every single drive brings a sense of occasion!

With seating for four adults and generous luggage space too, the car is not the selfish indulgence many sportscars could be criticised for, so taking family or friends along with you really is an option. This Lotus offers sophisticated levels of comfort and style with race bred handling, compliant suspension, subtly tinted glass and an excellent heating and ventilation system to keep everyone happy.

Levels of standard equipment are high for a car from this period and incorporate such niceties as power steering, electric windows, reclining front seats, intermittent wipe for both the single bladed windscreen wiper and the innovative glass rear luggage hatch, dimming interior courtesy lights and even a luggage bay light and glovebox lamp, all of which work faultlessly. The original and rare tool roll and jack are stored neatly away in a compartment within the fully carpeted boot and the original supplying dealer number plates are still fitted. Even the cigarette lighter hasn't ever been used and the original radio cassette works perfectly as does the automatic aerial antenna, another rare period luxury.

The driver is presented with a clear range of classic white on black Smiths instruments and a comprehensive array of switchgear in a separate central binnacle. Of course, being a driver-focused luxury sports GT car, the S2 2.2 Lotus Elite performs strongly and handles exquisitely as you might expect with its legendary four wheel independent suspension and stiff trademark backbone chassis which, as mentioned before is galvanized for longevity. There is a delicate finesse to the drive and handling which is difficult to describe – just pure Lotus.

Prime the two twin choke Dellortos with a couple of depressions of the throttle pedal, turn the key, and once the fuel pump has filled the float bowls, the twin cam bursts into life and soon settles to an unexpectedly civilised idle without any drama. A quick check of the instruments shows that the engine has immediately registered good oil pressure and that the charging circuits are working as they should. Snick the lovely, dark wooden gearknob on the Getrag ‘box effortlessly forward into first and you’re smoothly away – this is going to be another great day!

The twincam engine has recently been serviced with new plugs and a new coil and it passed a compression test with flying colours. It exhibits textbook oil pressure when hot, fluctuating as it should with engine rpm. When I quizzed the previous owner on issues of unreliability before I’d had any real Lotus experience of my own, he told me quite emphatically that the car had never let him down and he’d even used it to travel to the far reaches of Continental Europe and back – twice!!

A true Gran Turismo car

Taxed and tested until the middle of next summer, this Lotus needs nothing and can be enjoyed straight away although there's always something to improve on a thirty year old classic if the fancy takes you. All branded tyres are almost unworn and are a complete matching set and as some of you might notice, they’re fitted to the earlier ultra stylish GKN alloy wheel rather than the Speedlines fitted to some Elites around this time. These wheels are original and have been on the car from new as shown in the informative book The Third Generation Lotuses by Graham Robson which is well worth a read if you fancy one of these great cars.

Make no mistake, some of these cars can be bought as ongoing projects for very little money and there’s good reason for that. They've invariably fallen into the hands of people who have been beguiled by their cheap initial outlay with little or no concern as to how the cars have been looked after. They are at least thirty years old now and can often have been through a dozen or more owners with patchy history at best. These are the money pits to avoid. Do your research, find out as much as you can and buy the best available. There’s a wealth of information on hand from like minded enthusiasts on various excellent Lotus internet forums and an incredible spares back up from a number of enthusiastic and knowledgeable specialists. There were only 132 of these delightful Series 2 cars ever made and so finding a good one is becoming more of a challenge, particularly as people begin to realise what a truly fantastic classic proposition they are. This particular car is undoubtedly an outstanding example and is in unrepeatable, unrestored, time-warp condition.

Dare to be different and enjoy a life less ordinary with this seriously cool car, and travel in unique style for the price of something rather more dull, bland and uninteresting (and no doubt rusty)!

£5675

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Hi there,

 

I understand this is from 3 and half years ago, but does anyone know if it sold?

 

If not, is it still for sale?

 

Cheers 

 

Gav

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It sold and has been sold on again! I had chance to buy it but it needed a full respray (pictures were flattering). The new owner bought some parts from me and had plans for a full respray (possibly even a colour change) and new wheels but have not heard from him in some time

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That's a pity.  

 

Loving that colour scheme.  The gold pin striping nicely complements that metallic chocolate/roman bronze paintwork.

 

Cheers!

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check out the red one on car and classic. This is near me and was being advertised at £15K a couple of years ago. it looks well sorted on an excel chassis. personally I would return the bumpers to black but each to their own.

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That is a lovely looking car Mike.  Beautiful bespoke looking interior.  Do you know if the seller carried out the work himself or used a trimmer?

 

I can understand him looking for £10k but that's strong money for an Elite in my opinion.  Plus it's outside of my budget right now.

 

Besides, I kind of want to get my hands dirty and as a result, looking for a resto ideally.

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I also think that brown looks amazing, I don't think I've seen a better colour for an Elite. If you get a project car that needs a respray, you could do a lot worse than go for the same colour. Really suits the car.

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Yeah, I'm with you Jonny.  

 

if I found a car that needed a respray, that colour scheme would definitely be a strong contender.  A nice tobacco/sand coloured leather interior would be a perfect combo!

 

I do like the look of a black Elite also though.

 

Anyway, need to find one 1st!..... 

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